Over-washing, applying too many styling aids, skipping conditioner—all of these things can make your hair take on a limp, lackluster appearance. Of course, there’s no single secret to having great hair: How you care for your mane depends on several factors, including your hair type and lifestyle. But if you frequently find yourself looking in the mirror and wishing your hair looked a bit more alive, it may be time to consider giving your mane a refresh.
Whether you’re looking to breathe life into second-day hair (one of the best uses for dry shampoo) or simply need a few tips to spruce up your strands, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for Kiehl’s top tips for refreshing dull-looking hair.
Try a Detoxifying Scalp Scrub
Dry shampoo is great in a pinch (or just on a lazy day), but there’s no denying that using it too often can result in some serious buildup. If not addressed, product buildup can give your hair a dull appearance and weigh down your mane.
Incorporating a scalp scrub, like Amino Acid Scalp-Detoxifying Treatment Scrub, into your weekly routine can help refresh your hair when it’s feeling weighed down. This luxurious treatment contains 10 essential amino acids, plus a gentle blend of both chemical and physical exfoliants (namely, salicylic acid and sea salt). The powerful formula helps dissolve dead skin cells, product buildup, and other impurities to leave your scalp feeling comfortable and clean. With continued use, it also helps fortify your scalp’s natural moisture barrier.
If you’ve never used a scalp scrub before, the premise is pretty simple. Once weekly, in place of your usual shampoo, scoop a small amount of the product out of the tub and apply it to your scalp. Gently massage the scrub over your head, then rinse your hair thoroughly with lukewarm water. Squeeze out any excess water once you’re out of the shower, and apply your chosen styling products as usual.
Skip The Super-Hot Water
A long, steamy shower may feel like a great way to unwind at the end of a long day, but hot water isn’t great for your strands (or your skin, for that matter). Showering or soaking in super-hot water can damage your skin’s natural moisture barrier, leaving your skin feeling dry and irritated. Your scalp, unfortunately, isn’t exempt from this heat-induced damage. Of course, one steamy shower isn’t likely to destroy your hair, but routinely showering with super-hot water can dry out your scalp, and by extension, your strands.
To keep your hair looking and feeling its best, we recommend showering with lukewarm water and keeping your showers short whenever possible. If you do plan on soaking for a bit, avoid washing your hair that day—your hair’s natural oils may help protect your scalp (if you’re feeling greasy, refresh your roots with a spray or two of your favorite dry shampoo).
Reach for Lightweight Cleansers
For some, shampooing every day isn’t strictly necessary—in fact, washing too often may do more harm than good. But when you do lather up, it’s crucial to use the right products for your hair’s needs.
For a gentle clean, we recommend reaching for a mild, non-drying shampoo, like our iconic Amino Acid Shampoo. Made with fairly-traded coconut oil and amino acids, this fan-favorite cleanser creates a rich, creamy lather that thoroughly cleans the hair and scalp, leaving your strands feeling soft and full. It’s suitable for all hair types and can be used every time you lather up to refresh and add body to tired-looking strands.
While our Amino Acid collection is suitable for everyone, men may prefer using shampoo made uniquely for them.
Body Fuel Wash
We recommend Body Fuel Wash, which functions as both a shampoo and a body wash. The unique two-in-one formula with menthol and caffeine helps wash away dirt and excess oil, leaving you feeling clean from head to toe. Use it as your daily body and hair cleanser, or reach for it in place of your usual shampoo once weekly to refresh your hair and body.
Condition With Care
Dry, oily, frizzy—no matter your hair type, conditioner is a must. As with your shampoo, though, it’s important to choose the right formula for your needs. Too light, and it may not provide the hydration you need for soft, smooth hair; too heavy, and it can weigh down your strands, leaving you with a lank-looking mane. As such, we generally recommend reaching for a lightweight conditioner suitable for all hair types, like Amino Acid Conditioner. The gentle formula helps strengthen your strands and boosts manageability, leaving you with shiny, healthy-looking hair.
To help keep your hair looking fresh between washes—especially if you don’t lather up every day—try applying your conditioner from the ends up, avoiding your roots. Comb it through your damp hair with a wide-toothed comb, taking care not to pull on your hair too vigorously, as excessive friction can lead to breakage. Leave your conditioner on for a minute or two, then rinse your hair thoroughly and squeeze out any excess water before continuing your haircare routine. This technique should help minimize buildup at your roots, enabling you to stretch the time between washes.
Protect Your Color
Coloring your hair can be a time-consuming and pricey process—and while most of the work happens in the salon, you need to care for your hair properly at home to keep your hue looking its best. If you dye your hair regularly, that means using products that won’t strip or fade your color. Dry shampoo is one great option, but it can’t replace your traditional shampoo.
For a thorough yet non-stripping clean, we recommend Sunflower Color-Preserving Shampoo and Sunflower-Color Preserving Conditioner. Made specifically for color-treated hair, this gentle duo gently cleanses and conditions your hair, leaving it looking soft and sleek. Both formulas contain a slew of B vitamins plus a protective UV filter to help defend your mane from the damaging effects of sun exposure. The conditioner, which contains sunflower oil, also helps repair hair weakened by chemical processing—a must if your hair coloring routine includes chemical lighteners, like bleach. The color-safe pair is suitable for all hair types and can be used every time you shower to refresh and restore your color-treated strands.
Snip Off Dead Ends
No collection of hair refresh tips is complete without a reminder to trim your hair regularly. We know you’ve heard it before—it is, after all, one of the most well-known haircare tips—but it bears repeating. Even with a flawless haircare routine, your strands will likely accumulate some damage over time. Regular trims help get rid of split ends and other types of damage, which can give your hair a fuller, healthier appearance.
While there’s no universal guideline for how often you should visit the salon for a trim, we recommend waiting no more than a few months between visits. If your hair grows exceptionally fast (or is highly damaged), you may need to go more often; talk to your hairstylist to find a schedule that suits your strands’ specific needs.